I have been assigned to my next posting and this time is to the city of Nagoya in Japan. Thanks to Google Map, I am able to zoom in precisely to where my location is now. From the first map below, we can see Nagoya (名古屋) city in the middle. I am living at the Red Dot. The distance between where i'm staying to the city centre is equivalent to me travelling from East Coast Road to the City Hall in Singapore.
Now we zoom in more to see precisely where I am staying, also in the Red Dot. Just a 5 minutes walk from my dorm is a shopping mall with lots of food eateries - Tokadai Centre (桃花台センター).
Here is the main entrance to my dorm.
A sneak peek into my room. I access internet via a wireless connection through my colleague's internet connection who is living next door to me.
As with traditional Japanese style, we have a common shared bathroom. This photo is taken in the afternoon when no one is around and the baths are not filled. Japanese prefer to bathe sitting down instead of standing up - notice the shower heads to the right. The mirrors show the chairs.
The dorm provides breakfast and dinner. Living in a dorm really gives me a feeling of back in hostel during university days. When I was in NUS KE7, it too provided breakfast and dinner. Then the regular group of us will have our meals here. The main difference is that Japanese food is served every meal.
This is what I have for breakfast. I am given the option to have Western breakfast (洋食) but I instead opted for Japanese breakfast. It is due to my penance for Japanese food.
And this is what I have for dinner. There is a menu on a noticeboard just next to the dining area which shows the meals for the entire week. I have to confess that I really love the meals here. Always looking forward to it in the morning and evening. Even when I'm in China, I would always opt for Japanese restaurants as my staple dinner.
Here is a photoshot of the Tokadai Centre shopping mall.
In the shopping mall there are shops, supermarkets, and restaurants.
14th October 2007
If I am not travelling around Japan over the weekends, I will join my fellow colleague for lunch at an Italian restaurant down at the Center. Saizeriya as it is called, is a series of popular chain stores all over Japan. Best part of the meal is that you can opt for the drink bar which provides free-flow of drinks. Though for the large part I only drink Oolong tea. And here below is a shot taken from the Saizeriya restaurant. It shows Ronald MacDonald entertaining kids. It's been a while since I last saw a real Ronald MacDonald model. The ones I see back in Singapore are mannequin ones.
19th October 2007
On Friday immediately after work, we went for dinner at a Izakaya (居酒屋) which is just a 3 minutes walk from our office. Fujita-san was originally considering whether to go to Saisenya (さいせにや) which is one of the more frequented Izakaya or this new restaurant call Mino Ji (美濃路). As Toba-san happen to have a 10,000 Yen voucher at Mino Ji and this is something new for me, Mino Ji is the place.
I have been to a izakaya twice when I was in Koriyama. Really like the feeling, especially the food. :P It is normally a place for people to sit down, wind down and enjoy a couple of beers with barbeque food. So here in the izakaya below, you can see rows of Japanese wine to the right with the barbeque happening to the left of the picture.
In the picture below is Wakabayashi-san and Fujisawa-san. Wakayabashi-san is currently my teacher in office and he is really an expert in technical matters. Heard that he is ranked Number 7 in Japan. Fujisawa-san is my fellow team-mate for this project and he sits next to me in office.
Below is Fujita-san and Toba-san. Fujita-san was my SV-Sama when I was in China the entire year. Toba-san is a specifications-expert and he lives in the same dormitory as me.
Here is the food we ordered. Yummy barbeque food.
In this pix is me with Nagakawa-san, he is the Manager in our department and is the over-all leader of the project.
26th October 2007
It is Friday evening again and this time round I have an appointment with Mr and Mrs Kawashima-san (Obata-san). You will remember them from my final Wuxi posting and from my days in Koriyama. Obata-san also came over to Inuyama just a week before me. It has been almost a year plus since we last met. Both Kawashima-san and Obata-san speaks fluent English.
We went to a Chinese restaurant at Komaki call Yokohama-hyo. Heard it is a famous restaurant in the area. In the photo below we have Obata-san and Kawashima-san.
And then again below is Kawashima-san and me.
For those who are interested in my work attire daily. Here is me in the photo below. My attire is not as formal as the Japanese salary man who will have an additional tie over it. Wearing a long sleeve attire is preferable as the weather is really getting cold.
14th December 2007
We had our year end company dinner (忘年会) on the 14th December 2007 (Friday). For the last few years, I had been having my company dinner at different places. In 2005 it was held in Singapore Raffles Hotel, for 2006 it is in China and finally for this year it is in Japan. The company dinner cost around 5000Yen(S$65) per person. This dinner has free flow of drinks as its main focus while dishes will be served as sides.
Here is the first dish that arrived, it is sashimi. Heard sashimi is premium stuff in these japanese restaurants.
At the end of it, we had the traditional japanese way of appreciating the year just past and welcoming the new year.
28th December 2007
It is the last working day in the Japanese calendar. Previously I heard this day will be a casual day with minimal work done. But I find it to be just like any normal day with an exception - starting at 3pm, they began an office-wide clean-up. So everyone took up their rags, blooms and start cleaning the tables, floors and ceilings.
The cleaning took around an hour and thereafter everyone went back to their respective tables to sort out their documents. At precisely 5pm when the bell rang, everyone stood up for a final debrief for the day (last day of the year), this is the first time they have a briefing at 5pm. Most of the staffs fall out shortly after the briefing and went on for their 9 days holiday ahead.